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FIBA’s Alex Sanchez lauds Chooks 3×3 opening: ‘It was at the level of the World Tour’

The opening day of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup had aired all over the world. And one interested viewer of the league was all the way from Geneva, Switzerland.

FIBA 3X3 Managing Director Alex Sanchez woke up extra early last Saturday to watch the opening ceremony and the games live.

And he could not help but be impressed, saying that the opening ceremony was on par with the FIBA 3X3 World Tour.

“Chooks-to-Go and Sir Ronald [Mascarinas], we are happy to talk to you. We have been following the Chooks-to-Go competition and we are really appreciative of the effort,” he said during a conference call last Tuesday. “The event looked really nice, we can see that you understood the spirit of the game. I think that based on the footage, it was pretty much at the level of the World Tour.

“There’s no reason why you won’t get back to the World Tour.”

The first-ever leg of the league saw a lavish opening that included a marching band, a street dance group, and a performance by Mike Swift.

Gracing the event were, of course, league owner Ronald Mascarinas; former Gilas head coaches Chot Reyes and Tab Baldwin; FIBA representatives David Crocker and Fei Gao; and league ambassadors Kobe Paras, Calvin Abueva, Terrence Romeo, and Kai Sotto.

The games themselves were top-notch as well, from the first game (Valenzuela Classic’s 20-19 win over San Juan Knights) up to the finals (1Bataan Risers’ 19-18 victory over Pasig Kings).

The side events also delivered.

With the country cramming its world ranking points to reach at least a spot in the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, joining international tournaments is a must. Which is why FIBA has offered Chooks-to-Go the rights to host the first-ever Super Quest – the Quest Finals are a level eight event.

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“We are really appreciative. We believe that the Super Quest you are planning for the next weeks will be important to give the Philippines a big push for the federation’s ranking to help you qualify for the Olympics,” Sanchez added. “It will also help hone the team and to check how competitive you are in Asia.

“This is also something important because the players need to play on a regular basis to get better.”

As 3×3 basketball is part of the Olympic calendar, Sanchez believes that this is the avenue for Filipino cagers to make it to the world stage.

“All in all, we are really happy and appreciative of your work. We also believe that we can make something big in the Philippines. There’s no reason why you can’t be a powerhouse in three-on-three,” expressed Sanchez.

“As we are saying before, the game of three-on-three is more on the nature of the Filipinos with the dribbling and the skillful attitude and being smart on the court. This is the game for you,” he continued.

“Hopefully, the Philippines will have an opportunity to grab this chance of making something big in basketball.”

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